Do you invite others to join you in praising God for what He is doing in your ministry?
If not, you’re not alone.
After surveying 100 missionary newsletters, I found that 69% did not have any items of praise.
When I looked at the total prayer requests, I found an average of four petitions for every praise.
I want to encourage you to provide praises so that you and your readers might glorifying our Heavenly Father together!
To assist you in that goal, I present simple steps for composing praises for your next newsletter. In case my suggestions fall short, I also provide a list of praises that you can easily adapt and use in your newsletter.
1. Look at your previous prayer requests.
I recommend looking at the prayer requests in your last two newsletters. Ask yourself how the Lord has answered these requests. Has the Lord answered in a definitive way, in part, or not at all?
If you have written very general, impersonal requests, it might be hard to pinpoint an answer. However, if you write very specific requests, it will be easier to see how the Lord has moved.
Persevere in writing more precise requests. If you do, you will eventually find yourself with many praises in view. In the meantime, consider the next suggestion.
2. Examine your newsletters.
You might find topics of praise in your newsletters, but not specifically in a prayer request.
Prayerfully examine your main news items with an eye for developments that could be used as topics of praise.
3. Celebrate a milestone.
Did you let the anniversary of your first, second, or fifth year on the field slip by? Was there a birthday or a wedding anniversary?
If you don’t have a traditional milestone, how about creating one for your newsletter. Just fit in the correct numbers and use the following praise:
We praise our Heavenly Father for being our strength and guide during our first X months, Y weeks, and Z days on the field.
4. Ask someone for their insights.
If you don’t recognize anything praiseworthy, ask your spouse, your children, fellow missionaries, or anyone else close to you what you might offer as a praise in your newsletter.
Walk down to the corner and ask a neighbor what people are praising the Lord for. Ask friends at your Bible study or at church on Sunday what is a recent development that they are especially thankful for.
If you just start asking, you might be surprised at how many topics of praise will pop up. You might even find that you want to make praise the theme of your next newsletter!
5. Copy one of the following praises.
Here are some praises that any cross-cultural servant of Christ should be able to use at least once. I hope they will spark your imagination as you look for topics of praise.
Feel free to use them as they are presented. If you adapt them to your circumstances or personalize them in any way, that’s even better.
- We praise the Lord for your part in our ministry, especially for your prayers, support, and encouraging notes.
- We praise Him for moving your hearts to pray for us and for answering your many prayers.
- We praise Him for the privilege of being His ambassadors in this land.
- We praise the Lord for the steady progress we have enjoyed in learning the language and adapting to the culture.
- We praise the Lord for our new home, family, and ministry in this corner of His creation.
- Praise the Lord for the beauty and simple pleasures of our new country.
- Praise the Lord for the daily reminders of His care that we experience through the generosity and hospitality of our new friends and community.
- We praise the Lord for His mercies that are new every morning.
- We praise the Lord for the many promises of His word.
- Praise the Lord for His Word and that we have it in our own language and can meditate on it day and night.
- Praise the Lord for the indwelling presence of His Spirit, Our Comforter and Guide.
- Praise the Lord that we can come before His throne of grace with every burden on our hearts.
- Praise the Lord for His promise that He works all things together for good in our lives.
- Praise the Lord that we have peace and forgiveness and can serve Him with a clear conscience because of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.
- Praise Our Father for His great love, a love that moved Him to give His Son as a ransom for our sins.
- Praise the Lord because He hears our prayers and works all things for our good and His ultimate glory.
- Praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is with us always, even to the end of the age.
What to do right now
1. Praise the Lord that you know Him and can offer Him praise in any situation!
2. Look at your last newsletter to see if you are offering praises.
3. If you get stuck writing praises, take two from the list above to get yourself started.
4. Read about raising prayer support to improve your broader approach to asking for prayer.